With the No. 1 draft pick secured, Detroit Tigers fans can sit back and take in the 2017 MLB playoffs with a little more joy. Sure, their team didn’t even approach the dance, but at least they aren’t stuck in mediocrity anymore.
Now the question becomes who to root for in October? MLive’s Evan Woodberry does a lot of the groundwork by highlighting the 15 former Tigers that are in the playoffs, but allow me to provide my two cents. In reverse order:
8. Indians: It would be nice to see Austin Jackson get a ring, but Tigers fans don’t hold a lot of love for Cleveland.
7. Red Sox: There are three former Tigers here, but I still have not gotten over the 2013 playoffs, and I doubt you have either. Also, Boston fans.
6. Rockies: The Rockies are a fun team. Most importantly they are not the Yankees, Indians, or Red Sox.
5. Dodgers: Most people aren’t fans of the Dodgers, but most Tigers fans love Curtis Granderson unconditionally. If he got a ring, you could stomach L.A. winning the ‘ship.
4. Cubs: Unless you are staunchly opposed to Chicago fans, the Cubs can be a fun team to root for (Exhibit A: their bullpen.) That, and you would love for Alex Avila and poor Justin Wilson to get some hardware.
3. Nationals: It’s hard not to feel bad for the Nats at this point, and getting to watch Max Scherzer dominate in the World Series would be fun.
2. Diamondbacks: J.D. Martinez bombs. J.D. Martinez bombs everywhere.
1. Astros: Look, I completely forgot Cameron Maybin was even on this team. This is all about Justin Verlander. With apologies to Miguel Cabrera, no one has done more for the Tigers organization in the past decade. Add in a city that is struggling to recover from Hurricane Harvey, and the Astros are a no-brainer.
How the aforementioned teams were built
Teams like the Twins and Diamondbacks who went from worst to first provide a glimmer of hope for the 2018 Tigers, but we all know that this team has only begun its rebuild.
And your Tigers ERA champion is...
The great managerial search of 2017
The search continues, and may continue for a while.
Word is tigers have a very long list of manager candidates they r working to narrow down, list was 50 or so to start.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) October 1, 2017
I can’t tell if it’s because I’ve never actually heard numbers thrown around with regards to the candidate pool, but that seems like a lot, right? Anyway, add Paul Molitor and the usual internal suspects to that list, as Avila leaves no stone unturned.
While its still early, one name that keeps popping up is Fredi Gonzalez. Considering how often he has been mentioned by “sources,” you would have to think he is in the lead.
Around the horn
Kurt wrote about what we learned from the Tigers in 2017. Miguel Cabrera donated money to allow the under-10 Venezuelan national team to attend a tournament in Mexico. Isaac Parades and Daz Cameron were named to the Baseball America Midwest League Top 20 for 2017. The Mets fired their training staff, and I’d suggest we keep track of where they end up so that we don’t contract arm issues. The extended bullpen is here to stay. Grant Brisbee’s annual ranking of worst to best World Series matchups.